Another attempt at “GT cars in WRC” idea, 2015 FIA R-GT Cup

Some say only shoot-out powerstage can save WRC from imminent death and obscurity. Others say promoters need to do more in actual promotion. Many believe there is nothing terribly wrong with current format, while others claim current cars are too small, too quiet, not at all spectacular and they are too easy to drive. While I am not exactly sure about how easy to drive they are, unless by driving you mean going from point A to point B regardless of the speed, current WRC machines are quite tame in appearance and sound, compared to some of their famous predecessors. Best rally drivers would probably be able to drive in a spectacular fashion even if their only vehicle of choice was an e-car with 1 wheel drive, but maybe WRC does need a bit of spice added. For years FIA has been talking about GT cars and how awesome they are and how many grand efforts are to be made in order to bring those cars to World Rally Championship scene. Attempts came and failed, but maybe this latest one will stick. FIA explains it all in the official release below.

Of course, this project will also depend on the number of crews and teams it attracts, but if it all goes well, WRC events in Europe will be a bit more spectacular and hardcore. Why only in Europe and why only couple of Porsches were being mentioned in FIA’s release? Costs, I’d say. If the series picks up, maybe overseas events will be included too. It is a World Rally Championship, after all.

Why should GT cars be considered as an additional spice in WRC soup? Scroll down and take a look at some of the reasons. Chef Francois Delecour will reveal some of the GT secrets, although seeing him drive with sleeves not rolled up probably means he was just warming up. Warming up for what? Well, Rallye de France start in a Tuthill Porsche, of course.

2015 FIA R-GT Cup

The FIA is pleased to confirm the calendar for the 2015 FIA R-GT Cup, an exciting new competition for drivers and co-drivers using a car of Class R-GT with a valid FIA Passport.

The calendar is a mix of FIA World Rally Championship and FIA European Rally Championship events and points from all five rounds will count towards the title:

Rallye Monte-Carlo
GEKO Ypres Rally
Rallye Deutschland
Rallye International du Valais
Tour de Corse

The FIA has worked hard to incorporate this spectacular class of car into the framework of the World Rally Championship and is delighted to have issued its first Passports and finalised a calendar for the 2015 season.

“We have been working closely with our technical department for some time to see how we can correctly include this class of car into our rally pyramid,” commented Jarmo Mahonen, FIA Rally Director. “To have achieved this now is great news for all the rally fans that have been waiting to see these cars out on the world stage. Each R-GT car is very individual and has to be treated as such, so there will always be work in progress, but we have had good collaboration with some tuners who have helped us establish the best way forward with the Passports. The creation of the R-GT Cup was a natural progression and we really hope to see more cars out in competition in the future; certainly from the reaction we have seen so far, the fans love the sight and sound of these iconic cars.”

The first Class R-GT car – a Porsche 911 (996) GT3 RS – appeared on the World Rally Championship during the 2014 Rallye Monte-Carlo piloted by Belgian race and rally driver Marc Duez. Since then, Jani Ylipahkala entered a Porsche 997 GT3 on Neste Oil Rally Finland and Richard Tuthill rallied a 997 GT3 Cup on ADAC Rallye Deutschland. And two 997 GT3s have also been entered in the upcoming Rallye de France Alsace for French aces François Delecour and Romain Dumas.